At East Tennessee State University Department of Family Medicine, we are working hard on team care
transformation. Our Department has a long history of embedded pharmacy,
psychology, and social work services in each of its three primary care
residency training programs. Recently, however, our HRSA-funded project
“Collaborative Training in Team Based Care in Appalachian Primary Care
Practices” is providing us with the opportunity to develop a more progressive
We are four medical doctors, two psychologists, a
pharmacist, and our director of clinical services. We were excited to have the
CFHA annual conference come so close to home for us during our project
development. We returned from the meeting so energized we decided to share our
notes in a blog.
We lead with big praise for CFHA. The trip proved to be funding
well-spent. At least three affirmations
resonated with all of us. First, kudos
on bringing LBGTQ healthcare to the forefront across multiple
presentations. This content was an
impactful, albeit unexpected, aspect to our attendance. Drs. Heiman and Johnson have already initiated
changes to clinic practice to improve care for transgender patients and
building more training into our residency programming.
Second, we loved the innovative ideas for building team
care. We all agreed we had not seen this caliber of progressiveness in any
other professional meetings. We are
already looking at next year’s budget to see if there are others on our staff who
could have the advantage of learning about these ideas firsthand in Houston.
Finally, we definitely appreciated the spirit of
collegiality in the atmosphere including an openness to professional networking
and supportive engagement. We valued the validating audience response to our
presentation on an implementation strategy for building innovation into primary
care. We thoroughly enjoyed the engaging audience discussion with our panel on
Interprofessional Education. To sum, even though we were first-timers, we felt
like we fit right in.
Thinking critically about our
experiences, we wondered if CFHA can stretch to accommodate a wider range of health
professions such as pharmacists, nutritionists, and public health
professionals. We saw starting places for broader “team care” in multiple
presentations and, well, we wanted more!
Behavioral health has certainly been one of the leaders of primary care
integration and there is substantive content at CFHA that can be readily
generalized to another professional member of the team. Our pharmacist (Dr.
Cross) said several times how he was amazed at the parallels of so many issues
related to integration of clinical pharmacy services into primary care compared
to that of behavioral health, both victories and obstacles. We would love to
see CFHAs vision expand!
More connections to more diverse professions would add
significant value for us. While we
recognize that academic medicine accounts for a minority of attendees, there is
certainly a priority in university settings for broader interprofessional
practice and education. At CFHA, the
strong participation of a clinical audience from non-academic settings provides
an excellent sounding board for the pedagogical content we develop for our
student learners. In other words, we see
CFHA as having the potential of providing non-academic health care “ears” to
help us “keep it real” and in turn, we can develop training programs that
graduate professionals who are better prepared for their needs.
Thank you again, CFHA, for a quality learning experience
outside the office. We are looking
forward to next year!